Everything’s an “experience” these days. Your car-buying experience. Your workout experience. Your frozen yogurt experience. It seems simply doing something is no longer possible without considering it as an aspect of your lifestyle.
And there’s a powerful reason why. You may have even used it to find this article.
Social media has changed the way people do business. Thanks to platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you can tell the whole world about a bad experience the moment it happens using a device that fits in your pocket. And you can scan reviews by previous customers on Amazon, Yelp or Google before you spend a single penny on anything.
No wonder companies seem obsessed with your “experience” of their service or product.
The stakes are higher for them than they’ve ever been — a single bad experience can easily go viral, and a great experience that becomes a favorable product review can drive sales for years to come.
Careers in Customer Service: A New Pathway to the C-Suite?
In the old economy, you’d hear about a pretty straightforward career path: someone right out of high school starts off working in the mailroom of a large company, and through their dedication and willingness to help, they gradually work their way up through the ranks until they emerge as the CEO.
That hardly ever happens anymore.
But CSRs might be an exception. Because of the new emphasis companies are putting on customer experience, customer service is now looking more like today’s “mailroom jobs,” giving you access to your employer’s managers and decision makers.
According to Aerotek Account Recruiting Manager Kaitlin Morkel, “A lot of companies hire internally from their customer service team first. That's kind of like their pool for talent.” Companies are waking up to the fact that their customer service agents have deep insight into their customers’ needs, frustrations and experiences.
LEARN MORE: For a full interview with Morkel, check out Ask Aerotek: New Careers and New Opportunities in Customer Service.
So while the 30-year journey from the mailroom to the boardroom might not be possible, the customer service call center might be the best launch pad to next-level job titles such as Customer Support Engineer, Customer Success Manager, VP of Customer Success or Chief Customer Officer.
The New Normal
“Customer service” is now “customer experience.” And customer experience is now a company’s entire brand in the new economy. It could not be more important in the eyes of employers, nationwide.
If you’re looking for a place to start in any given industry, customer service might be your best chance to get noticed by the right people